Hand made by 5th generation blacksmith Masami Asai with a sticker on the ferrule which reads tezukuri ‘handmade’. Asai san makes knives in Takefu Japan, a small center of handmade knife making. His work is a prime example of the artistry and precision of fine Japanese knife making, not only are his knives beautiful but they perform exceptionally well.
The Japanese version of the French chef knife, gyutos are most at home with vegetables but can be used for a wide range of jobs, thin and precise they cut smoothly and wedge less than thicker knives, 210mm gyuto is the size most familiar to users of European and American chef knives, long enough for most jobs and comfortable for most users.
The highest grade ‘blue steel’ (named for the blue label used by Hitachi from the mill), a carbon steel alloy made with tungsten and chromium with a high carbon content famous for it’s edge retention. Blue steel is not stainless and needs to be kept dry and wiped off after use but will not oxidize as quickly as other carbon steels. Blue steel is more difficult to hone than other carbon steels but rewards it’s owner with very good edge life.
Custom forged aogami super blue steel hardened to HRC 62/63 with soft iron damsacus cladding for tensile strength with tsuchime hammer mark pattern and kurochi finish. The tsuchime finish is from the final forging process where the soft cladding is hammered to increase tensile strength, the dark kurochi finish is from the forge during the last phase of heat treatment, it will add a small degree of rust resistance but it must be emphasised that it must be kept dry and wiped clean during use to prevent rust.
Carbon steel and iron will pick up a patina with use which need not be removed, you will find a variety of opinions and attitudes towards the patina from a religious reverence to a meticulous removal.
Literally ‘floating ink’ a Japanese damascus steel made with several types of metal forge welded together creating varying patterns depending on how it is treated. Varying from a simple stacked layer structure to a wild or geometric patterned structure, suminagashi differs from the layered steel created in sword making in that it is not a homogenous metal folded to create the pattern. The artistry involved the forging of suminagashi can be quite impressive.Handle is a beautiful dark red hardwood with a resin and pressure treated pakka wood ferrule for added strength.